Keep up-to-date

We regularly update this page to share the latest activities of Consult Australia around the country.

Watch the most recent Policy Update video (left) with Consult Australia CEO Nicola Grayson and Policy Lead & NSW Manager Kristy Eulenstein. Members can also catch-up on past policy podcasts by clicking 'View More Policy Podcasts' below.

See national, state and territory news below. Contact our national Policy Leads or you local State or Territory Manager for more information.

View More Policy Podcasts

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Involvement of fire authorities in building design

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is seeking stakeholder feedback on the proposed Codes of Conduct for Fire Safety Engineers as recommended by the Building Confidence Report. ABCB is seeking to investigate a nationally consistent approach and acknowledges the financial and duration constraints on industry as reported by stakeholders. The online survey is open until 11:59PM AEST Wednesday 7 July 2021.

#people #practice #procurement #pipeline  

10 June 2021

cement-building

NCC Performance Based Code

Did you know that as of 1 July 2021, the NCC requires you to follow a process for developing Performance Solutions? To find out more, check out the Australian Building Codes Board website at abcb.gov.au.

9 June 2021

#practice

meeting-collab

Superannuation guarantee rate

Did you know the superannuation guarantee rate for employees is increasing to 10 per cent from 1 July this year? We have prepared a guide to help members prepare for this change, and to understand further changes to the superannuation guarantee rate over the next four years. A copy is available here (member log-in required) under ‘personnel and workplace matters’.

8 June 2021

#people


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Building an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace

What actions can the construction industry take to create LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces? Find out at InterBuild's free online panel discussion and launch of the Australia Human Rights Institute's report Building an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace. A blueprint for Australia's construction industry on Tuesday 22 June, 3.30pm-4.30pm (AEST). Register here.

7 June 2021

#people


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ACCC Collective Bargaining for Small Businesses

ACCC are seeking to introduce a class exemption for collective bargaining, allowing collective negotiation without first having to seek ACCC approval. Instead, a free of charge one-page notice to the regulator is required by participating small businesses. Under the proposed exemption, bargaining groups may be formed by small businesses who have a turnover of less than $10 million in the financial year before the bargaining group is formed. This is a huge win for small businesses, and one that Consult Australia delighted to see.

4 June 2021

#practice #procurement

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End of Year Tender Deadlines Campaign - 2020 Summary

Since 2018, Consult Australia has campaigned for a tender 'blackout' or an extension of three-weeks to tender deadlines over the end-of-year break. Our initiative was first piloted in Queensland, and resulted in positive changes to the government's tender policy. In 2019 we launched the initiative as a nationwide campaign, and in 2020 we scaled up further to target over 90 procuring departments and agencies across the country. Read more about our End of Year Tender Deadlines Campaign - 2020 Summary.

3 June 2021

#people #procurement

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Inquiry into Procurement Practices for Government-Funded Infrastructure

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities is performing an inquiry into Procurement Practices for Government-Funded Infrastructure, with a focus on opportunities for improvement and cooperation potential. Consult Australia will be making a submission to the inquiry which closes 16 July 2021 and we invite member feedback and input.

2 June 2021

#procurement #pipeline

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Updates to the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Laws

Australian ministers responsible for WHS have discussed and agreed to some changes to the national model WHS law, which is used to drive consistency in the approach adopted at a state and territory level in their WHS arrangements. Updates to the model WHS law include amendments or considered amendments on gross negligence, penalty increases, psychology injury, and sexual harassment in the workplace. We have produced a Business Guide summarising the updates (see under 'law and ethics' here).

2 June 2021

#practice #people

 

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NewAccess For Small Business Owners (COVID-19)

Following the announcement of further COVID-19 restrictions for Victoria, we want to remind all small business owners that mental health support is available.

Beyond Blue has developed NewAccess for Small Business Owners, a free mental health coaching program for sole traders and small business owners, to give them the support they need to manage stress and get back to feeling like themselves. It is normal to feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed during these challenging times, and it can help to talk things through. The program is available nationally by phone or video call.

Visit beyondblue.org.au/newaccess-SBO for more information or to enquire today.

2 June 2021

#people

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Get the latest business guides

We are always publishing new business guides and client briefings for members. These guides and briefings support you are your employees on a broad range of topics including mental health, insurance and contracting issues.

The latest topics covered include warranties, payment times as well as a wellbeing support plan template.

Our business guides are available here (members only). If you want a specific issue covered please let us know.

2 June 2021

#people #procurement #practice 

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NewAccess for Small Business Owners

Beyond Blue and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman have established NewAccess for Small Business Owners - a mental health initiative that provides small business owners with confidential and free low intensity early intervention mental health support.

The initiative is tailored to meet the needs of small business owners in the sense that it is;

  • relevant – the mental health coaches have a lived experience of operating a small business,
  • accessible - the coaching is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEST online or via telephone, and no referral or mental health care plan is needed, and
  • practical - the initiative provides access to six structured sessions, and introduces pragmatic tools and techniques that can be implemented in day-to-day living.

To enquire about NewAccess for Small Business Owners contact 1300 945 301, email newaccess.smallbusiness@rfq.com.au or visit: www.beyondblue.org.au/newaccess-SBO.

Consult Australia encourages our members to share this great initiative across their engagement channels to help spread awareness of this service.

25 May 2021

#people

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2021-22 Federal Budget

The Australian Government has announced the 2021-22 Federal Budget. We have prepared a summary highlighting the key areas of spending relevant to our industry.

Infrastructure funding continues to be the cornerstone of the Government's approach to economic recovery and stimulus. Positives for Consult Australia members also include:

  • a commitment to improving small and medium business access to Commonwealth procurement
  • investment in digital skills
  • continued investment in encouraging more women into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics by co-funding scholarships in partnership with industry.

12 May 2021

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lawbooks

Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work

The NSW Government has introduced a code of practice on managing psychosocial hazards at work. The code focuses on the duty to manage psychosocial hazards at work and who is responsible, how to respond to a psychosocial hazard at work, and how to support a safe return to work following a work-related harm. 

#nsw #people 

10 June 2021

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Greater Sydney Parklands White Paper

Have you heard about the NSW Government's plan to develop the Greater Sydney Parklands? Local councils and park managers with be working with Greater Sydney Parklands to refresh existing parkland areas in Centennial Parklands, Western Sydney Parklands, Parramatta Park, Callan Park and Sydney’s newest parkland Fernhill Estate with a focus on sustainability. Have your say by responding to the White Paper by 5 July 2021. 

#people #pipeline #procurement #practice #nsw

10 June 2021

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Guide on the implementation of VIC engineers registration scheme

The Victorian Government is introducing new arrangements from 1 July to register individuals providing certain professional engineering services in Victoria, or for Victoria. The new arrangements will be implemented through a staged process, so we have prepared a member guide to help you understand if, how and when you will be impacted.

Read the guide on our business services page (under 'law and ethics') here - member log-on required.

10 June 2021

#vic #practice #people

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PRESENTATION SLIDES - Design & Building Practitioners Scheme

Matt Press at ConstructNSW recently presented to members on the Design and Building Practitioners Scheme. This comprehensive presentation covered; registration, usage of the ePlanning Portal, the ‘educational’ approach of Fair Trading in the first 3-6 months and the move to digital assurance. The presentation is now available for your information and don't forget to check the NSW Fair Trading site for the latest information.

8 June 2021

#nsw #practice #procurement

colab

Review of designated area migration agreements

The SA Department of Innovation and Skills consulted on its review of designated area migration agreements (DAMA). Our submission to the review highlights; key occupations missing from the DAMA, the need for an increase to the age threshold for our industry as well as key barriers facing our members using DAMAs.

8 June 2021

#sa #people #pipeline #practice #procurement

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Engaging with Infrastructure Tasmania

With the announcement of Martin Blake as the CEO of Infrastructure Tasmania, we secured a presentation to our Committee on the workplan of Infrastructure Tasmania. We have also secured monthly meetings with Infrastructure Tasmania and Department of State Growth to build collaborative relationships between government and industry.

8 June 2021

#tas #pipeline #people #practice #procurement

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NT Industry capability statement

We have produced an Industry Capability Statement for NT which sets out how our members can provide local and on the ground experience in the NT. It demonstrates that Consult Australia members have a diverse range of service capabilities across a range of sectors than can be mobilised locally.

8 June 2021

#nt #people #pipeline #practice #procurement

I voted

Election Policy Platform

In the lead-up to the 2021 WA State Election we developed, in consultation with members our policy platform covering the areas of people, procurement, pipeline and practice. This platform will assist in our upcoming discussions with the re-elected government. You can read a snapshot or the full version of our platform.

8 June 2021

#wa #people #pipeline #practice #procurement

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Submission to Productivity Commission

We submitted to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into SA's regulatory framework, advocating for the use of standardised contracts, reasonable insurance requirements and better procurement practices. You can read our submission here. Despite the terms of reference for the Inquiry being broad and was said to cover 'any government policy', the Productivity Commission recently responded that procurement matters were out of scope. We will continue to advocate on these issues in Australia as they extend beyond procurement and are business critical issues.

8 June 2021

#sa #people #pipeline #practice #procurement

melbourne-skyline

2021-22 Victorian State Budget

We have prepared a member-only summary of the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget (available here). While mental health and health reforms were the overall narrative of the budget, infrastructure and the broader built environment pipeline of projects was once again a big winner with investments growing further to an average of $22.5 billion per year over the forward estimates. Let James, our Victoria Manager, know if you have any questions on the budget.

20 May 2021

#vic #pipeline #people #practice #procurement

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Labour hire licensing

In 2020, the ACT parliament passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2020, joining QLD, SA and VIC to licence labour hire providers. Noting that the Act is broadly drafted and could capture arrangements used by Consult Australia members, such as secondments we advocated for sensible exemptions to the Act for our members. Our preferred approach was that taken in SA, which exempts entities whose core business is not labour hire. While the ACT government did provide for an exclusion for professional service workers who earn over a certain threshold, we remain concerned about the application of the scheme to our members. We continue to advocate for a more comprehensive exemption.

17 May 2021

#act #practice #people

 

 

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Defence Estate Policy Webinars

After the success of its 2020 program of webinars, Defence Estate are doing it again in 2021. Find out what policies and projects are steering the Estate Governance and Integrity System (EGIS). Check the Estate Webinar site which is updated regularly with new webinars and recordings of past events. For example, webinars in May include a case study of Smart Infrastructure and the EGIS system and a look at the Building Works Manual from a project perspective.

7 May 2021

#procurement #practice #pipeline

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Proposed fees for VIC engineers registration scheme

We have made a submission to the Victorian Department of Justice and Community's consultation on the proposed fees and Regulatory Impact Statement for the Professional Engineers Registration Scheme. We continue to advocate for 'one fee, one registration' arrangements across the country, and also call for a similar approach for professionals needing registration in multiple disciplines.  Please get in touch with James if you have any questions.

4 May 2021

#vic #people  #practice 

 
NSW Government

Partner with the NSW Government to host a trainee

The NSW Government has designed a new traineeship in the infrastructure industry for Year 12 school leavers. The two year government funded program will see candidates combine NSW Government and industry experience to develop a rounded view of the infrastructure sector as a whole.

The traineeship is office-based, where each candidate will spend 8 month rotations with a consultancy business, a government agency and a contracting business. Trainees will also study one day per week to complete a Cert III or Cert IV in courses such as project management and procurement.

The NSW Government is seeking support from consultants to partner and host trainees, particularly those with regional offices in Penrith, Wollongong, Grafton, Dubbo, Parkes, Lismore, Wagga and Newcastle. This is a great opportunity to further your commitment to supporting NSW's young people and provide career pathways into infrastructure for the future of our industry and the next generation of school leavers. Read the flyer or watch this video for more information, and when you are ready, register here.

10 April 2021

#nsw #people

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Insurance and contract terms key barriers to supplying to government

The NSW government wants to make it easier for small and medium businesses to sell to NSW government, with the Small Business Commissioner calling for submissions on the key barriers. Consult Australia’s submission stressed how insurance obligations and contract terms were the key barriers for our small business members. We talked proportionate liability, fitness for purpose, liability caps and warranties as examples of onerous contract terms. Contact Kristy to discuss the onerous contracts you’ve seen (whether from private or public clients).

9 April 2021 

#nsw #procurement

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Loss of independence with Building Queensland move

The Queensland government’s proposal to move Building Queensland within the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is currently before parliament as part of the Debt Reduction and Savings Bill 2021. Consult Australia opposes the move, noting that the cost saving of $1 million by the move is a valuable investment in infrastructure independence.

9 April 2021

#qld #people #pipeline  #practice #procurement

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STAY INFORMED

Don't forget to stay informed of the latest priorities and opportunities to participate in our roundtables and working groups.

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